Terry McAuliffe

Photo: Terry  McAuliffe
Terry McAuliffe
Former Governor of Virginia


When the history of modern American politics is written, Gov. Terry McAuliffe will be remembered as both the engine and the fuel that powered the Democratic Party into the 21st century. A lifelong entrepreneur, key strategist, presidential confidante, Party chairman, and the 72nd Governor of Virginia, McAuliffe has played an incalculable part overseeing decisive shifts in the national electoral map.

Creating a Virginia for All. McAuliffe served as the 72nd Governor of Virginia from 2014-2018. As Governor, he focused on equality for all Virginians, enhancing quality of life, and building a new diversified economy that makes economic opportunity a right, not a privilege. He defied Virginia history as a Governor who used the office to achieve historic advances for the rights of women, immigrants, minorities, and the LGBTQ community. McAuliffe implemented major economic development initiatives to ensure record breaking investments in world-class infrastructure, and develop a 21st century workforce capable of meeting the needs of emerging businesses and industries. McAuliffe restored the voting rights of more than 173,000 Virginians, more than any other governor in U.S. history. He also created a cyber security commission charged with developing industry-relevant recommendations in Virginia, becoming the first governor to take executive action to secure consumer transactions and data. He also led the effort to make Virginia the most veteran friendly state in America.  Under his leadership, Virginia was the first state to be certified to have functionally ended veteran homelessness.

Democratic Champion and Broker of Bipartisan Efforts. As Governor, McAuliffe won bipartisan support for a historic $1 billion investment in K-12 public education, the most in Virginia history.

He led a transformational overhaul of the state’s transportation system saving taxpayers billions and investing a record 10 billion in new construction. As Chairman of the National Governors Association, he used that leadership position to assist other states as they worked to strengthen their cyber security policies and infrastructure, leaving them better equipped to understand their vulnerabilities and providing tools and guidance to secure their state systems and data. Moreover, as Governor, McAuliffe conducted a record 35 trade missions to dozens of countries, personally delivering Virginia’s calling card to business leaders around the globe. Hundreds of thousands of jobs were created and more than $20 billion in capital investment was brought to the Commonwealth, billions more than any previous governor. He brought the unemployment rate from 5.7% to 3.6% and initial unemployment claims have fallen to a 44-year low.

The Life of the Party. In politics and business, McAuliffe has worked with people from all walks of life and different political backgrounds. He entered politics at the age of 23 as the national finance director for Jimmy Carter. He served as Democratic National Committee chairman from 2001-2005, and co-chaired President Bill Clinton's 1996 campaign for reelection and 1997 Inauguration. He was chairman of Hillary Clinton's 2008 Presidential campaign and the 2000 Democratic Convention. As Chair of the DNC, he raised over $535 million. His New York Times bestselling memoir, What A Party!: My Life Among Democrats: Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators and Other Wild Animals, is a behind-the-scenes chronicle of his incredible life in politics. His memoir was #1 on the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal Best Seller lists.

More about Terry McAuliffe. At the early age of 14, McAuliffe started his first business, McAuliffe Driveway Maintenance. As a lifelong entrepreneur, he has successfully started multiple companies in the banking, real estate, insurance and technology fields. He was our nation’s youngest bank chairman at the age of 30. McAuliffe gained national attention during the presidential election of 1980 when he wrestled an alligator to raise $15,000 in funds. Since that feat, he has continued to demonstrate a drive and commitment that have helped elect Democrats for nearly 40 years.     

More recently, President Obama appointed McAuliffe to the Council of Governors to provide advice on national security matters. He is now working with Former Attorney General Eric Holder to combat gerrymandering through the efforts of the NDRC.

Governor McAuliffe has received over a hundred awards for his outstanding leadership, including 2017 Public Official of the Year, National Champion of Justice Award, State Executive of the Year, BIOSciences Governor of the Year and the Martin Luther King National Merit Award.


Updated MDG 2/13/2017